Wellington, FL (July 6, 2010) – Fifteen-time New York Times bestselling mystery writer and professional Grand Prix dressage rider Tami Hoag has donated Fhilosopher, her 11-year-old Westfalian gelding by Fidermark, to take midterm tests instead of dressage tests at the University of Findlay in Ohio. Hoag describes him as a “wonderful horse with an incredible character and a lot of quality.”
While Fhilosopher will be an asset to the college, Hoag explained he has limitations that will not allow him to be a top FEI horse. Therefore, her loss will be the gain of Findlay students. In fact, instead of the judge’s bell Fhil will start his day to the school bell. Hoag said, “with Fhilosopher the students will learn what it feels like to ride a truly world class mover, and how to maintain a soft consistent contact with the bridle with a horse that sometimes like to play hide-and-seek with the bit! He will make any student who mounts him a better rider with a greater awareness for quality of gaits.”
Whitehouse Station, NJ (July 5, 2010) – International dressage rider Dr. Cesar Parra and Olympia, the 13-year-old KWPN gelding owned Dr. Lori Washton, are currently ranked number one for the FEI small tour heading into the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National I-1 Dressage Championships.
Parra has been riding Olympia for over a year and recently returned from a very successful winter season in Florida. Parra and Olympia returned to New Jersey and made their debut at the ESDCTA Memorial Day Show. The pair won the Prix St. Georges with a score of 71.789 and also the Intermediaire I with a score of 71.000 percent. In total, this pair has shown at this level just over a dozen times and has consistently scored over 70%. Parra started showing Olympia a year ago at the Centerline Events Westbrook Hunt Club show and won the Prix St George with 75%. Last year the pair won 8 out 9 CDI classes and Parra won the coveted High Score FEI Rider Award at Dressage at Devon aboard Olympia. This year, at the New Jersey Horse Park CDI on Memorial Day they continued their victory streak winning both classes. “Olympia has developed into such an ideal horse to show. He is always trying his best,” said Parra.
Bromont, Quebec, Canada (July 1, 2010) – American Combined Driver Chester Weber continued his winning streak – this time on Canadian soil – when he won the FEI Four-In-Hand division at the Bromont International Driving Competition at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park in Quebec. Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, captured the title with a 45-point lead over second place winner Josh Rector, also of the USA.
Weber was pleased with his win, and said that the marathon and cones courses at Bromont proved to be very challenging. “I had my less experienced team of horses and I am really proud of them because the marathon course was on the level of a world championship course,” Weber said, adding that he really felt that Reno stood out. “My young horse is coming together and proving to be consistent.”
Weber took Grumus, Para, Boy W, Reno W and Horus Du Bois to the Canadian competition, considered the most important driving show in Canada. “I am very proud of Reno as it was his best show yet,” Weber said. “Reno is really showing that he can be a valuable asset to my team.”
Morton, IL (June 21, 2010) – Small equines from all across the nation who attend the 122nd Shetland Pony Congress Show this year will not only compete for National Championship titles but will also have the chance to win one of the new USEF Shetland Member High Point Awards provided by the United States Equestrian Federation. The Shetland Pony Congress Show, August 2-6 in Ardmore, Oklahoma, will feature some of the best Shetland Ponies in the country competing in classes such as driving, halter, jumping, youth and costume classes.
“A USEF staff member will be present at the 122nd Shetland Pony Congress and award Championship and Reserve Championship ribbons to the high point winners with USEF membership in certain divisions,” said Lori Nelson, USEF Assistant Executive Director, National Affiliates. “The USEF is looking forward to honoring these members. The American Shetland Pony Club (ASPC) is a USEF recognized breed association and has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the USEF.”
Allentown, NJ (June 11, 2010) – Chester Weber continued his long running winning streak in New Jersey, capturing the 2010 Four-In-Hand Garden State Driving Event Championship. As the eight-time United States National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion, Team Weber cruised to victory in all three phases of the Garden State event, a selection trial for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall.
“The event went really well and the entire team, both people and horses, seems to be in top form leading up to WEG,” Weber said, adding that the heat and humidity did play a factor, especially for Reno, his six-year-old leader who seemed to have a hard time with it.
Despite the weather, and footing that wasn’t ideal, Team Weber triumphed over 10 other four-in-hand teams, finishing with a score of 116.64 penalties while runner-up Josh Rector finished with a score of 140.67. Jimmy Fairclough, who has long been Weber’s top competition, went off course in the cones phase and was eliminated.
Wellington, FL (June 11, 2010) – Al Guden’s 11-year-old Grand Prix KWPN gelding, Sagacious HF, recently earned Crown Predicate honors from the KWPN (Dutch) Registry. This special symbol on his registration papers means he is ranked in the top 200 FEI Dressage Horses in the world. Sagacious HF was actually ranked 56th in the world.
Guden’s journey with Sagacious HF started when Al purchased the 4-month-old colt in Holland in 1999. Sagacious was imported to the US in 2004. Guden put the young gelding in training with Lauren Sammis and that combination turned out to be a very successful match. In 2007, Sagacious and Sammis proved they had what it takes to be international contenders by winning the Team Gold and Individual Silver Medals at the Pan American Games in Rio. Over the next three years they made a very successful transition from the small tour to winning CDI Grand Prix classes at the nation’s most competitive shows. Al Guden, Lauren Sammis and Sagacious became on popular trio on the dressage circuit.
Allentown, NJ (June 8, 2010) – Cesar Parra and his Piaffe-Performance team debuted their horses in the northeast at the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association’s Memorial Day CDI with great success. It was the team’s first show in New Jersey after returning from the winter season in Florida and collectively they spent much of the show in the winner’s circle.
Cesar Parra dominated the small tour with Lori Washton’s KWPN gelding, Olympia. Parra and Olympia won the Prix St. Georges score of 71.789 and the Intermediaire I with a score of 71.000 percent. The seasoned pair has shown at this level just over a dozen times and has always been over 70%. They are in top form as they head for the USEF/Collecting Gaits Farm Dressage Festival of Champions August 6-15 at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. Parra also notes that Olympia’s consistent performances will be just what it takes to represent the US at next year’s Pan American Games.
Wellington, FL (June 2, 2010) – New York Times bestselling mystery writer and Grand Prix dressage rider Tami Hoag has traveled from coast to coast each year to live the winters in Florida and the summers in California. This year marks a big change for Hoag as she has decided to stay in Wellington year round.
Hoag will continue to create her thrilling and heart-stopping murder mystery New York Times Bestsellers while she trains and competes in Florida. “The stress of traveling back and forth is a lot for the horses and this is a great opportunity to settle in and make Wellington home. The best resources are available in the area including boarding, training and showing,” said Hoag.
Hoag released her latest mystery novel Deeper Than the Dead this year and it quickly became Hoag’s fifteenth New York Times bestseller. Hoag is in full swing with the sequel to Deeper Than the Dead called Secrets to the Grave. “It is already scheduled to go on sale in December of 2010, so no time to dilly-dally. My day consists of riding in the morning, the gym in the afternoon, and working in the evenings,” Hoag said.
Morton, Ill. (May 24, 2010) – Strebors Black Magic On Demand, a Miniature Horse registered with the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR), is spreading a special form of magic as a therapy horse. Known to her many fans as Magic, the black mini with blue eyes was recently named the “Most Heroic Pet in America” by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).
Magic, owned by Debbie and Jorge Garcia-Bengochea of Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses in High Springs, Florida, was featured in the 2010 May/June issue of AARP Magazine for her heroic efforts as a therapy mini. “I am so proud of her,” Debbie Garcia-Bengochea said. “She has worked with over 4,000 people, but the story that helped her win the ‘Most Heroic Pet’ title has to do with a woman who hadn’t talked in three years.”
Garcia-Bengochea said that in September of 2009, a reporter from the Ocala Star-Banner newspaper was taking photos of a Gentle Carousel visit at an assisted care facility. “A woman who had not spoken since she arrived at the assisted care facility three years earlier began talking to Magic. ‘Isn’t she beautiful’ were her first words and then ‘It’s a horse’,” Garcia-Bengochea said. “The activities director began to cry and told the woman she loved her.”
Ocala, FL (May 12, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four In Hand Champion, recently shared the secret to his success with students in an Exercise Physiology class in the Equine Studies program at Central Florida Community College (CFCC). The community college is the only two-year institution in Florida that offers an equine program, and Equine Studies is the college’s most popular Associate in Science degree program.
“Chester gave a wonderful talk to my Exercise Physiology students during their last class of the semester,” said Dr. Judy Downer, Associate Professor of Equine Studies. “Chester summarized his training and conditioning program that he is using that will lead him up to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall. It was a great review of the subjects we covered all semester.”